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Germany: Protests demand immediate halt to Israeli war on Lebanon

By our correspondents, 31 July 2006

Demonstrations against the current Israeli attack on south Lebanon and Gaza took place Saturday in a number of German cities, including Berlin, Cologne and Frankfurt. In Berlin, an estimated 5,000 persons drawn mainly from Germany’s Arab communities demonstrated through the middle of the city.

France: Thousands demonstrate against war in Lebanon and Gaza

By Kumaran Rahul and Pierre Mabut, 31 July 2006

Some 5,000 people marched through Paris Saturday to protest the destruction being wrought on the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples by Israel with the full backing of the United States.

The Qana massacre: Slaughter of innocents in Lebanon

By Editorial Board, 31 July 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

Sri Lankan military launch major offensive to retake LTTE territory

By K. Ratnayake, 31 July 2006

The Sri Lankan military has for the first time since the signing of the current ceasefire in 2002 launched a ground offensive to capture territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The operation, in breach of the ceasefire agreement, is a further major escalation of the ongoing undeclared war that erupted following the election of President Mahinda Rajapakse last November and has claimed at least 900 lives.

Spanish train line reopens before investigation into fatal accident begins

By Daniel O’Flynn, 31 July 2006

The death toll from Spain’s largest-ever train crash on July 3 reached 43, after a passenger died from his injuries early two weeks on. The driver, Joaquin Pardo Tejedor, was among the fatalities. One body has not yet been identified. Around 50 people were injured.

US media alibis for Qana massacre

By David Walsh, 31 July 2006

As the news broke Sunday morning of the Israeli massacre in the southern Lebanese village of Qana, the American media swung into action to provide alibis and excuses for the horrific war crime.

Australia: Melbourne rally opposes US-backed Israeli war

By our reporters, 31 July 2006

About 2,500 people demonstrated in Melbourne yesterday against the US-backed Israeli war against Lebanon in a rally and march from the State Library to Federation Square. Many in the crowd were families and young people, who arrived in groups from the nearby railway station, to show their opposition to the war drive.

Sri Lankan union leaders betray port workers struggle

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 July 2006

About 14,000 Colombo port workers ended their “go-slow” campaign on July 21, a day after a deal was organised by union officials and the government. The eight-day campaign, the biggest port employees struggle in the last 25 years, was in pursuit of a 3,000-rupee ($US30) increase in basic salaries and other improvements.

Bush administration deploys thousands more troops in Baghdad

By Rick Kelly, 31 July 2006

In what was a tacit admission that previous efforts to consolidate its occupation of Iraq had failed, the Bush administration last week announced the deployment of more than 4,000 additional US soldiers in Baghdad. The latest tactical shift paves the way for a dramatic intensification of repression and violence against the Iraqi people and a surge in casualties among American soldiers.

More letters on a reply to charges of anti-Semitism

By , 31 July 2006

The following is a selection of letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to “WSWS replies to charge of anti-Semitism in coverage of US-Israeli war on Lebanon” . An initial group of letters was published here.

Bush, Blair meet to oppose Lebanon ceasefire and back Israel’s war aims

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 29 July 2006

President Bush summoned British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Washington Friday to perform his usual function of lending US foreign policy an international veneer. Amidst growing international outrage over Israel’s bloody assault on the Lebanese people, the two leaders stood by their intransigent defence of Israeli aggression.

Letters from our readers

By , 29 July 2006

The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

Israel, the UN and the assassination of Count Bernadotte

By David Walsh, 29 July 2006

On July 25, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched a sustained attack on a United Nations outpost in southern Lebanon. Over the course of six hours, the UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organization—established in 1948) post was hit at least 16 times, according to press reports, including five direct hits on the base. The unarmed staff, assert UN officials, repeatedly contacted the Israeli military and begged them to stop.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 29 July 2006


SEP candidate in Michigan to be certified for November ballot

By our reporter, 29 July 2006

The Bureau of Elections on Friday informed the Socialist Equality Party that there were no challenges to the qualifying petitions of Jerome White, the SEP candidate for US Congress in Michigan’s 12th District. This means that White will be officially certified as a candidate for the November elections at the next meeting of the State Board of Canvassers in mid-August.

Atrocities mount as Israel intensifies bombardment of Lebanon

By Mike Head, 29 July 2006

Openly backed and armed by the United States, Israel is carrying out mounting atrocities in Lebanon in an attempt to overcome unexpectedly fierce resistance from the Hezbollah movement. With its 17-day aerial bombardment having failed to wipe out Hezbollah, or weaken its support among the population, Israel has intensified its onslaught.

India increases its censorship of the Internet

By Ajay Prakash and K. Nesan, 29 July 2006

An Indian government order to Internet service providers (ISPs) to block 17 Internet web sites and web pages resulted in Indians being denied access for well over a week to whole swathes of the Internet, including the blogs hosted on, and Geocities.

How Australia orchestrated “regime change” in East Timor

By Peter Symonds, 29 July 2006

This is the conclusion of a three-part article on Australia’s recent military intervention in East Timor. Part one was published on July 27, part two on July 28.

Israel prepares major escalation of Lebanon aggression

By Patrick Martin, 28 July 2006

The Israeli government issued orders Thursday to mobilize as many as 40,000 additional reserve soldiers in preparation for an escalation of its war of aggression against Lebanon. The action was taken by the security cabinet of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in response to mounting demands from the military brass and the media for a full-scale invasion of south Lebanon.

Israel steps up military offensive in Gaza

By Rick Kelly, 28 July 2006

The Israeli government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is exploiting the open support of the Bush administration for its murderous campaign in Lebanon to further Israel’s expansionist ambitions in the Occupied Territories. Far from resulting in any letup in the month-long attack on Gaza, Israel’s war in Lebanon has been accompanied by a continuing and unrestrained offensive against the Palestinian people.

Polls indicate growing dissatisfaction with two parties in US

By Joe Kay, 28 July 2006

Public opinion polls are a fairly limited way of gauging popular sentiments. The way questions are posed and the options given for answers tend to skew or distort the actual views of those being surveyed. Still, newly released US polls certainly indicate intense public opposition to the war in Iraq, widespread hostility to the Bush administration and its policies, discontent with socio-economic conditions, and deep dissatisfaction with the Democrats and Republicans.

How Australia orchestrated “regime change” in East Timor

By Peter Symonds, 28 July 2006

This is the second of a three-part article on Australia’s recent military intervention in East Timor. Part one was published on July 27.

Letters on a reply to charges of anti-Semitism

By , 28 July 2006

The following is a selection of letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to “WSWS replies to charge of anti-Semitism in coverage of US-Israeli war on Lebanon” .

Britain: Mounting criticism of Blair over Lebanon

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 28 July 2006

The world is being reminded yet again why Britain earned the sobriquet “Perfidious Albion.”

Growing disquiet in Israel over Lebanon war

By Mike Head, 28 July 2006

In a private meeting with 70 American Jewish leaders in his Jerusalem office on July 25, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed that his government would not “run away” from the war in Lebanon. Olmert told the United Jewish Communities Solidarity Mission that the battle “may be painful,” with two million Israelis living in bomb shelters and daily life at a halt in the country’s north. But he cited an opinion poll showing that 95 percent of the country’s Jewish population supported the war.

Joschka Fischer and German Greens defend Israeli bombing terror in Lebanon

By Ulrich Rippert, 28 July 2006

At the start of this week, German Green Party deputy Jerzy Montag travelled to Israel at the head of a German-Israeli parliamentary delegation. In a press statement, his office in Berlin declared that a delegation from the German-Israeli society is also participating in the trip to Haifa.

Socialismo em um só país ou Revolução Permanente

By Bill Van Auken, 28 July 2006

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Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 28 July 2006


US: FEMA slashes emergency assistance for future disaster victims

By Kate Randall, 28 July 2006

A month and a half into the 2006 hurricane season, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced an overhaul in core disaster relief programs. The biggest change is a sharp cut in emergency cash assistance to families, which will be slashed under the new rules from the $2,000 previously allowed per household to $500.

PSG (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit) admitido nas eleições parlamentares em Berlin

By , 27 July 2006

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Alleged Toronto terrorist cell included Canadian Security Intelligence Service mole

By David Adelaide, 27 July 2006

The revelation that the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) had an informant or mole planted within the group arrested in Toronto in early June for allegedly plotting terrorist attacks is being used by Canadian authorities and the corporate media to continue their campaign to create a climate of fear conducive to the promotion of a right-wing agenda.

How Australia orchestrated “regime change” in East Timor

By Peter Symonds, 27 July 2006

This is the first of a three-part article on Australia’s recent military intervention in East Timor. Part two and three will be published on July 28 and 29, respectively.

Support the Socialist Equality Party 2006 campaign!

By , 27 July 2006

Make a donation today!

Appeasement 2006: Europe capitulates to American-Israeli aggression

By Editorial Board, 27 July 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

Ukraine: Constitutional crisis deepens as Orange parties jostle for power

By Niall Green, 27 July 2006

A coalition of the Party of the Regions, the Communists and the Socialists—which together hold a majority of seats in the Ukrainian parliament (Rada)—continues to be prevented from forming a government by the leaders of the “Orange Revolution,” President Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko.

The case of the USS Liberty: anatomy of an Israeli provocation

By Shannon Jones, 27 July 2006

The stonewalling and lies used to cover up Israel’s targeting Tuesday of a United Nations outpost in Lebanon and the deaths of four observers recall another well-known incident. In June 1967, in the middle of the Six Day War, Israeli planes and ships attacked a US intelligence ship, killing 34 sailors and wounding another 171 out of a crew of 292.

Declassified archives document ties between CIA and Nazis

By Andre Damon, 27 July 2006

On June 6, the US national archives released some 27,000 pages of secret records documenting the CIA’s Cold War relations with former German Nazi Party members and officials.

Superman Returns, Pirates II, Clerks II: No ‘fount of impressions and emotions’ at present

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 27 July 2006

Superman Returns, directed by Bryan Singer, screenplay by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris; Clerks II, written and directed by Kevin Smith; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, directed by Gore Verbinski, screenplay by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio

Spain: Life savings at risk over stamp fraud

By Marcus Morgan, 27 July 2006

The savings of hundreds of thousands of people are in jeopardy due to one of the largest fraud cases in Spanish history.

Australia: Car unions work with administrator to impose job losses

By Terry Cook and Chris Sinnema, 27 July 2006

Australian car unions have split a combined strike by 570 workers from three Huon Corporation car component plants in Victoria to ensure a flow of parts to major car manufacturers.

Record heat, violent storms beleaguer US cities

By Cezar Komorovsky and Debra Watson, 26 July 2006

Record-breaking heat continues in widespread areas of the contiguous United States, which, combined in many cases with official neglect and mismanagement, has produced considerable misery and social disruption. Power outages and lack of air-conditioning have led to deaths in several cities.

Letters on the Israeli bombing of Lebanon

By , 26 July 2006

The following is a selection of letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to recent articles on the Israeli bombing of Lebanon.

SEP candidate in California turns in signatures in lieu of filing fee

By our correspondent, 26 July 2006

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party in southern California turned in 7,587 signatures on Tuesday as part of the campaign to put John Burton on the ballot for US Congress from the 29th Congressional District, which includes Pasadena, Glendale and part of Burbank.

Power grid fails in face of California heat wave

By John Burton and SEP candidate for Congress in California’s 29th District, 26 July 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

Bitter recriminations as trade talks collapse

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2006

The collapse of the Doha round of trade liberalisation negotiations in Geneva on Monday has been accompanied by a series of bitter recriminations and warnings of increased protectionism and trade conflicts.

Socialist Equality Party to hold public meetings in Britain

By , 26 July 2006

With the full political, financial and military backing of the Bush administration in the United States and of the Blair government in Britain, Israel is attempting to transform Lebanon into a Western protectorate. The Bush administration is using Israel as a proxy in order to take forward its plans to secure its unchallenged hegemony over the Middle East and Central Asia, the location of the bulk of the world’s oil supplies.

German Socialist Equality Party certified to stand candidates in Berlin

By our correspondent, 26 July 2006

At its meeting July 21, the state election committee confirmed the participation of the Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit—PSG) for the Berlin state election due on September 17. The PSG will be standing three candidates: PSG national secretary Ulrich Rippert, and Fabian Reymann and Christoph Vandreier.

State election authorities to review Democratic Party challenge to SEP petitions in Illinois

By Jerome White, 26 July 2006

On Tuesday, August 1, the Illinois State Board of Elections will begin a “records examination” of the objections filed by the Illinois Democratic Party against the nominating petitions of Socialist Equality Party state senate candidate Joe Parnarauskis. This process, which will take place at the election board’s offices in the Illinois capital of Springfield, will involve comparing the signatures and addresses of thousands of voters who signed the SEP petitions to information on voter registration lists maintained by the Board of Elections.

Britain: Charities criticise government indifference to child trafficking

By Harvey Thompson, 26 July 2006

A coalition of nine major charities, including Unicef, Save the Children and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), recently presented a consultation paper to the UK Home Office on child trafficking into Britain.

WSWS replies to charge of anti-Semitism in coverage of US-Israeli war on Lebanon

By , 26 July 2006

To: Van Auken,

Rice leaves bloody footprints in Lebanon

By the Editorial Board, 26 July 2006

At some point in the future, when the ill-fated American drive for hegemony in the first decade of the twenty-first century is subjected to critical study, historians will discover ugly parallels between the tenure of Condoleezza Rice as American secretary of state under President Bush and that of Joachim Ribbentrop as German foreign minister under Chancellor Hitler. All the characteristics of the foreign policy of the Third Reich as it set the stage for World War—its depraved deceitfulness, cynicism, hypocrisy, recklessness, fascination with violence and utter contempt for human life—are to be observed 70 years later in the operations of the Bush administration, for whom Rice serves as chief foreign policy spokesman.

Sri Lankan government abandons thousands of citizens trapped in Lebanon

By Vilani Peiris, 26 July 2006

Up to 90,000 Sri Lankans, the largest group of migrant workers from poor countries in Lebanon, have been trapped by the US-backed Israeli military assault. One Sri Lankan woman, 28-year-old Vijitha Mallika, has been killed but many others are feared dead or injured. Despite this, the Sri Lankan government has turned its back on its citizens.

Pro-Russian party set to form government in Ukraine

By Niall Green, 25 July 2006

Viktor Yanukovich, leader of the Party of the Regions, is set to become the next prime minister of Ukraine.

Rice begins Mideast tour to promote US-Israeli war aims

By Patrick Martin, 25 July 2006

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Beirut, Lebanon Monday, the first stop in a trip whose purpose is to shore up the joint US-Israeli military campaign against Hezbollah and give more time for the Israeli military to use American bombs and weapons to devastate Lebanon.

An attack on democratic rights: New Zealand man jailed for sedition

By John Braddock, 25 July 2006

A man involved in an axe attack on the electorate office of New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark was sentenced to two months jail on July 18 for committing an act of sedition. This is the first time in 64 years that anyone in New Zealand has faced a sedition charge. The successful prosecution and jail sentence underlines the assault on basic democratic rights now being carried out by the Clark Labour government.

“The Bush administration is using Sami Al Hajj to fight Al Jazeera”

By Richard Phillips, 25 July 2006

Abdallah el-Binni, director of the documentary Prisoner 345, spoke with the World Socialist Web Site during the recent Sydney Film Festival. El-Binni’s 50-minute film examines the US incarceration of Sami Al Hajj, a 36-year-old Al Jazeera cameraman who has been held without charge in Guantánamo Bay for the past four years. (See 53rd Sydney Film Festival--Part 4: Middle East and North African focus).

The Queens blackout: the brutal human costs of Con Ed’s drive for profit

By Bill Van Auken and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Senate from New York, 25 July 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

Indian prime minister visits rural Vidarbha

By Parwini Zora, 25 July 2006

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the drought-stricken Vidarbha region of the state of Maharashtra for two days beginning June 30 as part of a larger tour of impoverished rural areas by Singh and other Congress Party leaders.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 25 July 2006

Latin America

Middle East and North African focus

By Richard Phillips, 25 July 2006

This is the fourth part of a series of articles on the 2006 Sydney Film Festival, held June 9-25. The first part was posted July 17, the second on July 19 and the third on July 22.

SEP candidate for Oregon legislature to speak at public meeting

By , 24 July 2006

The SEP candidate for state legislature in Oregon’s 19th state senate, Christie Schaefer, will speak at a public meeting in the Portland suburb of West Linn on Tuesday, July 25. Schaefer will address the Israeli invasion and bombardment of Lebanon and the social crisis in Oregon.

Democrats, Republicans line up to back Israeli war crimes

By Joe Kay, 24 July 2006

Last week, both the US House of Representatives and Senate overwhelmingly passed resolutions praising the Bush administration for its full support of Israel’s military campaign in Lebanon. Democrats joined with Republicans to endorse Israel’s bombing campaign, which has led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

Australia: thousands join global protests to condemn Israel’s war on Lebanon

By our reporters, 24 July 2006

More than 25,000 people demonstrated in Australian capital cities over the weekend—in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide—condemning Israel’s war of aggression against Lebanon. The largest protest saw more than 15,000 gather at Sydney’s Town Hall, joining the crowds who rallied over the weekend in London, Paris, Warsaw, Tel Aviv and other major cities.

Japanese government withdraws its troops from Iraq

By Joe Lopez, 24 July 2006

The arrival of 220 Japanese troops in Kuwait last week marked the complete withdrawal of Japan’s 600-man Ground Self-Defence Force (GSDF) from Iraq.

Rice’s Middle East tour: “Diplomacy” in furtherance of war

By Chris Marsden, 24 July 2006

One day before US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was due to arrive in Tel Aviv to discuss the conflict in Lebanon and Gaza, the New York Times reported that the Bush administration was rushing through a delivery of satellite- and laser-guided bombs requested by Israel. The move epitomises the reality of Washington’s “diplomacy”—throwing American power behind its Israeli client state in furtherance of plans to secure its own hegemony over the Middle East by force of arms.

Protests in Israel and worldwide against war on Lebanon

By Mike Head, 24 July 2006

Protests were held in Israel, across the Middle East and around the world over the past few days condemning Israel’s US-backed war on Lebanon. In Arab countries, rallies again denounced the acquiescence of the Arab states in the onslaught. Elsewhere, the largest demonstrations, involving thousands of people, were held in the United States and in countries closely allied with Washington’s war aims in the region—Britain, Australia and Canada.

Israel prepares to launch ground war in Lebanon

By Mike Head, 22 July 2006

With Washington’s backing, Israel is preparing to launch a ground invasion of Lebanon, having called up thousands of army reservists and massed tanks and armoured personnel carriers on the border.

The New York Times and the war in Lebanon: A cynical defense of US-Israeli war crimes

By Barry Grey, 22 July 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

UN Human Rights Commissioner warns of war crimes in Lebanon

By Chris Marsden, 22 July 2006

The statement by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour that war crimes may have been committed in the Lebanon conflict was deliberately couched in diplomatic terms.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 22 July 2006


Doctor and nurses arrested in Katrina-related deaths

By Kate Randall, 22 July 2006

On orders from Louisiana Attorney General Charles C. Foti Jr., police arrested a doctor and two nurses Tuesday in connection with the deaths of patients at a New Orleans hospital in the days following Hurricane Katrina.

Another bogus peace move by Sri Lanka’s president

By Wije Dias, 22 July 2006

A major speech by Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse has once again made clear that the Sri Lankan government has no intention of advancing real proposals to end the country’s long-running civil war.

Some films about South America: a disappointing collection

By Ismet Redzovic, 22 July 2006

This is the third part of a series of articles on the 2006 Sydney Film Festival, held June 9-25. Thefirst part was posted July 17, the second part July 19.

How the German media reports on the Israeli aggression in Lebanon

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 July 2006

In the past two weeks, a major shift has taken place in German and European foreign policy. Under conditions where European nations are completely unable to develop a unified stance in opposition to the US, European leaders have decided to ditch their former reservations over the illegal US war against Iraq and now back the present bloody offensive by Israel against the Palestinian territories and Lebanon—an offensive planned and carried out in the closest consultation with the Pentagon. The necessary groundwork for such a shift in policy has been conducted in the course of a debate carried out in the German press, and in particular in Germany’s so-called “quality” newspapers.

Australian citizens left to face Israeli bombardment

By Mike Head, 21 July 2006

The Howard government has displayed a calculated indifference to the plight of the estimated 25,000 Australian citizens trapped by the Israel bombardment of Lebanon since July 12. In keeping with its unequivocal support for the Israeli assault, Canberra has acquiesced in the Israeli government’s refusal to grant even limited ceasefires to allow the evacuation of Australian and other foreign nationals.

Europe’s inability to counter US-Israeli war policy

By Ulrich Rippert, 21 July 2006

When the Bush government unleashed its war against Iraq three years ago, a number of European governments warned of the danger that such an enterprise could lead to a military and political disaster. In particular, leading circles in Berlin and Paris warned publicly of an uncontrollable wildfire that would spread across the Middle East.

Public meetings oppose Australia’s intervention into East Timor

By Laura Tiernan, 21 July 2006

The Socialist Equality Party and the World Socialist Web Site held public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne during the past week opposing the Howard government’s military intervention in East Timor and calling for the immediate withdrawal of Australian troops from the tiny half-island. SEP national secretary Nick Beams, a member of the International Editorial Board of the WSWS addressed audiences in both capital cities.

Australian imperialism, East Timor and the role of the DSP

By Nick Beams, 21 July 2006

Below we are publishing the report delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the WSWS, to public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne on July 11 and 18, 2006, entitled “The truth about East Timor: Why Australia’s military intervention should be opposed”. (See Public meetings oppose Australia's intervention into East Timor).

The real aims of the US-backed Israeli war against Lebanon

By Editorial Board, 21 July 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

American media unquestioningly defends Israeli violence

By David Walsh, 21 July 2006

Over the past week, the American mass media has obediently fallen into line in defense of Israeli violence and aggression. As hundreds of civilians have died in Lebanon and an estimated half a million been made homeless by Israeli bombs and shells, the US media has consistently painted the conflict as a defensive action by the Zionist regime against provocations by “terrorists.”

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 21 July 2006


Australia: Howard’s industrial relations watchdog legitimises Cowra sackings

By Chris Sinnema and Terry Cook, 21 July 2006

On July 7, the Office of Workplace Services (OWS) announced that the sacking of 29 workers by Cowra Abattoirs in central western NSW, and the company’s offer to rehire 20 of them on inferior pay and working conditions, were legal under the Howard government’s new industrial relations laws. The OWS findings, brought down after a lengthy investigation into the Cowra incident, gives the lie to Prime Minister John Howard’s claim that workers’ rights are protected under WorkChoices, the government’s new industrial relations (IR) laws.

Israel deepens offensive in Occupied Territories

By Chris Marsden, 21 July 2006

Media reports now refer to Israel’s attack on Gaza as the “forgotten war,” a conflict overshadowed by the carnage in Lebanon. Tel Aviv is happy for this situation to continue. While the world’s media focuses almost exclusively on Lebanon, and Israel has itself concentrated its military efforts on the bombing of Beirut, Tripoli and other major cities, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has also deepened its three-week-long offensive against the Palestinians.

Canadian government indifferent to Israel’s murder of eight of its citizens

By Keith Jones, 20 July 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

Protests denounce Arab leaders’ complicity in Israeli assault

By Mike Head, 20 July 2006

The Israeli onslaught on Lebanon and Gaza has laid bare the widening divide between the victims of the assault—the Palestinian and Arab masses—and the Arab bourgeois ruling elites. Protests have erupted across the Middle East condemning not only Israel and the US, but also the Arab governments, which have either openly supported Israel’s offensive or limited themselves to timid verbal protests against it.

Oppose Sri Lankan government’s attack on port workers struggle

By Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 20 July 2006

Colombo port workers in Sri Lanka face crucial political issues as their struggle for higher wages enters its second week. Port Minister Mangala Samaraweera has declared he will not discuss with striking trade unions, while the government’s Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has obtained a district court order against the unions involved.

Britain: Damning inquiry into Asian’s death at youth prison

By Liz Smith, 20 July 2006

The public inquiry into the killing of Zahid Mubarek in Feltham Young Offender Institute six years after his death has revealed the shocking circumstances which allowed Robert Stewart to bludgeon his cellmate to death under the noses of the prison authorities.

SEP in Michigan files petitions to place US congressional candidate on ballot

By our reporter, 20 July 2006

The Socialist Equality Party on Wednesday submitted qualifying petitions bearing the names of 5,045 voters to the Secretary of State’s office in Lansing, Michigan to place its candidate for US Representative in Congress, Jerome White, on the ballot in the state’s 12th District. The filing of the petitions was the culmination of a three-month campaign, in which the SEP overcame many obstacles thrown in the path of third party candidates by the Democrats and Republicans and collected well above the 3,000 signatures required by the state to place an independent candidate on the ballot.

Population given no warnings as tsunami hits Java, killing hundreds

By John Roberts, 20 July 2006

The southern coast of the Indonesian island of Java was hit by a two-metre high tsunami at about 4:15 pm local time last Monday. Despite receiving timely international warnings, Indonesian government ministries and agencies issued no warnings to the threatened areas.

Bush’s veto: Stem cell research and the rise of American theocracy

By Joe Kay, 20 July 2006

The decision by President Bush on Wednesday to use the first veto of his tenure to oppose a bill loosening restrictions on stem cell research is a cruel, inhumane and utterly backward act. It is yet one more indication of the extraordinary decay of democratic forms in the United States.

SEP California campaign holds meetings as petitioning enters final month

By Joe Kay, 20 July 2006

The Socialist Equality Party (US) held two public meetings—on Thursday, July 13, in South Pasadena and Monday, July 18, in Altadena—as the petitioning drive to put John Burton on the ballot for California’s 29th Congressional District entered its final month. Supporters of the SEP also organized a staged reading of a play as part of a fundraising drive for the party’s campaign.

Bush administration pushes privatization of public forests

By John Jaccobs, 20 July 2006

Earlier this year, working with the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Bush administration announced plans to sell over 300,000 acres of public national forest land. The plan, which was included in the White House’s 2007 budget proposal, would chiefly affect California (85,500 acres), Idaho (26,200 acres), Colorado (21,500 acres) and Missouri (21,500 acres).

Campaign to place SEP candidate on ballot in New York wins broad support

By a reporter, 20 July 2006

In the first week of the petition drive to place Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate Bill Van Auken on the ballot in New York, campaigners have gathered more than 3,500 signatures.

Student upheavals expose anti-working class agenda of Chile’s Bachelet

By Eduardo Ballesteros, 20 July 2006

Months of school occupations, student strikes and demonstrations have presented Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet with the first major test of her administration. Elected on promises to pay heed to social concerns, Bachelet’s vicious reaction to the student movement has exposed her government’s anti-working class character and the unstable base upon which it rests.

Mostly a love affair with money and fame

By Joanne Laurier, 20 July 2006

The Devil Wears Prada, directed by David Frankel, screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna, based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger

India indefinitely postpones peace talks with Pakistan

By M. Nessan and Keith Jones, 19 July 2006

India has indefinitely postponed peace talks with Pakistan, after accusing “elements from across the border” of having a hand in last week’s terrorist atrocity in Mumbai and demanding Pakistan do more to suppress armed, anti-Indian Islamicist and Kashmiri nationalist groups.

Western diplomacy supports Israel’s war of aggression

By Chris Marsden and Barry Grey, 19 July 2006

On Tuesday, the seventh day of Israel’s air war on Lebanon, with some 250 civilians killed and much of the country’s infrastructure destroyed, President George Bush issued yet another threat against Syria.

Sectarian violence escalates in Iraq

By Jake Skeers, 19 July 2006

Bombings, killings and kidnappings are being carried out almost hourly in US-occupied Iraq. In the midst of the violence, the targeted killing of more than 40 Sunnis by Shiite gunmen in a Baghdad street this month stands out as a particularly brutal sectarian atrocity.

Britain: No one to be held accountable for police murder of Jean Charles de Menezes

By by Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 19 July 2006

The announcement that no police officers are to be charged in connection with the shooting of innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes has been met with justifiable outrage.

Ten Canoes: a dramatic exploration of ancient Aboriginal culture

By Richard Phillips, 19 July 2006

This is the second part of a series of articles on the 2006 Sydney Film Festival, held June 9-25. Thefirst part was posted July 17.